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Windows 7: Backing up my files?


25 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 
Backing up my files?

Hi,

I built my system with two hard drives one for my opperating system and a second separate drive for all my files. Both drives are 500GB and as the one used for the opperating system only uses a fraction of the space availiable what I want to do is to back up everything that is on main file drive into a single folder in the spare space on my opperating system drive. Is there an easy way to do this? Does windows have a feature for doing this or do I have to get some third party software? Is there any decent free stuff?

Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition
 
 

check out my post here avoid pc disaster by being prepared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #3

win7 ultimate / virtual box
 
 

I love bart sync backup tool
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

I don't believe any backup software will backup to a location on the drive being backed up. Also doesn't make any sense to do so. If the drive dies, you lose the backup at the same time.

What I would do is partition the boot drive into 100GB for the OS and the rest to become a 2nd partition. Move all the data off the 2nd 500GB drive into the new, 2nd, partition, then use the 2nd 500GB drive for backup, and backup everything, the boot partition and the data partition (now all on the 1st 500GB drive).

This is a good site for finding free backup and partitioning software: Free Hard Disk Backup / Restore and Image / Cloning Utilities
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
I don't believe any backup software will backup to a location on the drive being backed up. Also doesn't make any sense to do so. If the drive dies, you lose the backup at the same time.

What I would do is partition the boot drive into 100GB for the OS and the rest to become a 2nd partition. Move all the data off the 2nd 500GB drive into the new, 2nd, partition, then use the 2nd 500GB drive for backup, and backup everything, the boot partition and the data partition (now all on the 1st 500GB drive).

This is a good site for finding free backup and partitioning software: Free Hard Disk Backup / Restore and Image / Cloning Utilities
You may make a system image to ensure that your Windows,files at that point,
could be backup.

Personally,I have tried to restored my system from a system image,
which is very effective and time saving way to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Thanks Ztruker and ccya,

I was never planning to back up to the same disk but I am going to try to create a partition on my primary disk and move my files there and then back the whole disk up.

I've forgotten how to partition a disk I've only done it a couple of times. Do I fist have to shrink the volume of my C drive and then create a new volume in the free space? In Disk Management I right click on the C drive and click shrink but then it tells me I can only shrink it to 253GB but really I want to shrink it to 100GB. Why isn't it letting me shrink more, I'm only using 48GB of the 465GB availiable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Forget Disk Management. Use one of the programs pointed to at the link I gave you like GParted LiveCD or Partition Logic.

Shrink C: as you said and create a new partition in the free space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Hey thanks for the information you gave me here a few months back. At the time it seemed like a bit of a daunting task to use some third party software to create a partition, but I have gotten my head around it now and done it with GParted and it worked great. Now I can move my files accross and create a disk image,

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2010   #9

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Glad to hear it Duncan. Nice when thing work out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2010   #10

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

@Duncan

There are as many protocols as there are users; I found $0.02 so here is what I do.

First off, because you have a WD HDD, go here and DL the free WD version of Acronis True Image, an excellent imaging app. On HDD 0, create a small, OS-only primary partition. How small is small? I have a 100GB OS partition on which I have 250+ apps presently occupying 62GB of space. You be the judge for your anticipated needs. On that partition place ONLY the OS and everyday apps (e.g., utilities, browser, flash, Office, etc.). On the same HDD, create two more primary partitions, one for such things as MP3s, JPEGs, docs. The third partition you are going to use for storing image backups from HDD 1, but more on that later.

Do the same thing with the second HDD: create three primary partitions, two for stuff (maybe you divide your MP3s, docs, etc, between the two HDDs) one for games, and the third for image backups from HDD 0. Now if you want more than three partitions on the HDDs you will have to create logical/extended partitions.

Now the rationale. More than anyplace else, it is your OS partition that is going to become corrupt by malware, patches, tweaks, SW removal (of shared files), etc. Therefore, it is good practice to regularly and frequently create image backups of your OS partition. Do this religiously. Many people are content to place the image backups on the same HDD that is being backed up. That is fine - unless your HDD bricks upon which you will not only lose your OS but you will also lose your backups. Therefore, you place ALL (not just your OS) of your backups of HDD 0 on HDD 1. Why? The odds of both HDDs bricking at the same time is nil. Now, of course, 15 people will post telling you of the time when all of the HDDs in their machines went up in flames simultaneously. That ain't going to happen but I have you covered for that just in case. Later.

The small OS partition facilitates fast image backup creation. Mine take about 16 minutes. If you are regularly backing up a 3, 4, 500GB partition, you will doze off while waiting for it to complete. Secondly, this week, e.g., maybe you did not add any MP3s to your collection: why back those up again? In other words, if most of your stuff is on one or two large partitions, you are backing up everything again and again whether it needs to be or not. (I will defer discussions about incremental or differential backups). Therefore, you only have to back up the remaining partitions when changes to them are made. By dividing your data over two HDDs, that data is able to reside in small partitions. For example, as I have explained so far, you have six partitions: two contain saved image backups, one contains the OS, and the other three can be divided any way you like. And if you desire, as I said, you can create additional logical/extended partitions on each drive.

This protocol gives you two sets of complete data from each HDD on separate HDDs: you working copies and your image backups. To carry safety one step further, it is best to store crucial data on some external device. I do not do that for all of my data (because the odds of my entire machine going up in flames is nil, as I said. But I do store data that I think is extraordinary critical on USB flash drives; some people like external HDDs. I do not have the need to superprotect much data so a 30GB flash drive is fine for me. Besides, I have 3, 750GB internal HDDs and simply do not need any more storage space.

One more thing: unless you are a gambler, do not store critical data on optical media - because it degrades in time. You can always transfer data to new discs but apart from the nuisance, you may suffer read-write errors even though your burning app verified the integrity of the burn.

Gee, that all looks like $0.04 worth.

Monk
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 Backing up my files?




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